The Gladiators Reign Supreme: RLCS APAC Winter Champions
Rocket League; One of the largest growing games since its initial release date in 2015, has taken the esports space by storm, proving to be one the largest growing esports titles slowly warping into the likes of the top tier titles including Dota, League of Legends, CSGO and Valorant. With last year's Worlds funding an astounding $2,085,000; the scene is consistently on the rise, looking to make every year better for fans and competitors alike in a game some call “Car Ball.”
With its immense impact on the scene Gaimin Gladiators took to the Rocket League competitive scene back in February 2022, looking to reign supreme in a new title. Now one year later the Gaimin Gladiators roster composed of Louis “LCT” Christian Thamrun, Max “Maxeew” Ng, Gabriel “OSM” Sindri Benediktsson and coach Mark “markydooda” Exton took Asia-Pacific (APAC) by storm, making a RLCS Winter run for the ages. With the San Diego Major on the horizon, the stakes were ever so clear, win and we’re in;
Simple put; that’s exactly what the Gaimin Gladiators did.
Slating into Group B, the Gladiators roster looked to defeat the likes of Brokoli, AmongZ and Vainshoes, hopeful for a 1st place finish and a direct trip to the Quarter Finals. After successful 3-1, 3-0 and 3-1 victories between the 3 rounds, Gaimin Gladiators with a 3-0 record made swift work of Group Stage play, seeding directly to the Quarter Finals, and with a match-up with one of the bigger APAC representatives in Decimate Gaming.
Gaimin Gladiators vs Decimate Gaming (Quarter Finals)
With a distinct 3-0 victory; Decimate looked like a solid adversary. After an initial 5-1 whooping by the hands of Decimate Gaming, the Gladiators took to form; winning in succession 2-1, 3-2, 1-0, and 1-0 in close competitive games. With their first playoff win behind them, they turned to another consistent APAC representative in UHUH.
Gaimin Gladiators vs UHUH (Semi Finals)
Moving into Semi-Final play, the Gladiators played against another familiar foe, UHUH. A consistent top 4 team within the APAC region; UHUH came into the series winner of Group C and a close 4-3, game 7 victory over Nimmt55. The Semi Finals weren’t as close as the previous Quarter Final match-up for UHUH; With the Gladiators showing up in the Semi Final matchup in a 4-0 sweep, making once again another run to Grand Final play, and with the hopes of San Diego in their near future.
Gaimin Gladiators vs Elevate (Grand Finals)
The tables were set, a Grand Final some would say was meant to be. Elevate; Winter Cup’s victor looked to be one of the strongest amongst the Asia-Pacific organizations, looking to continue renowned success in a region slowly on the rise. Gaimin Gladiators and Elevate provided one of the most exciting Grand Finals, competing until the very end.
After an initial 4-2 game one victory, Gaimin Gladiators continued their form, after great playoff series victories. That wouldn’t last for long however with unfortunate 3-1, 2-1 and 3-1 game victories in succession; Elevate looked as though they had booked their ticket to San Diego, for the year’s second major tournament. #AgainstAllOdds the phrase Gladiators live and die by; continued to push forward slowly but surely. Winning a close game five overtime 3-2, and game six 3-2; the Gladiators brought the series back in a one game winner take all, for all the marbles.
Champions Field. Home to many Rocket League game seven moments, it was the final stop in this year's APAC Winter Finals. With the momentum shifted in favor of the Gaimin Gladiators, game seven continued in the direction of the Gladiators. After intense match-ups between the two rosters; the series victory and San Diego qualification had finally come to the likes of the Gaimin Gladiators. #AgainstAllOdds the Gladiators reigned supreme, showcasing true strength, grit and determination, being the lone APAC representative for this year's Winter Major in April.
Louis Christian Thamrun (LCT) Captain of the Gaimin Gladiators Rocket League roster took time to comment on the impact this had on the team and the journey throughout the 2022-2023 season.
“How was the mindset going into the APAC Winter Invitational after your previous 3rd/4th placement in the previous Fall season.”
LCT - Honestly, it was really rough during the Fall split as we had a top 4, a top 2 and a top 8 for our last regional, the Fall invitational. We were going downhill at that point and our motivation was at an all time low with having very little scrim and hours in the game in general. We then had time to reflect on ourselves and think about our choices and decisions and came to a conclusion. How bad do we want it? If we just put time and effort and give it our all we can cause some serious upsets. We then started scrimming everyday and put in a lot of hours in the game and were motivated more than ever as we were sick and tired of losing, being doubted and not recognized in the scene. Seeing my team being more motivated than ever helped me push through and work extremely hard this split and the results have shown.
“What expectations did the group have coming into the event?”
LCT - During the Fall split, our expectations were pretty high thinking we would make the Fall Major. However, we didn't work hard enough for it. However ever since we had that massive motivation boost during the start of the Winter split, our expectations were definitely set on making the Winter Major this time.
“What is the biggest thing you are looking forward to in regards to the San Diego Winter Major?
LCT - There are many things I'm looking forward to, one of which is going to California. I've already gone there in 2018 and it was amazing so I would love to go there again. But honestly I also really miss being in that competitive esports LAN environment again. Being next to my teammates playing some car ball and having fun and of course meeting the fans.
“What expectations (placements, achievements etc.) do you and the team have for the 2nd major of the year?”
LCT - I think since we are still a newer and inexperienced region and that we have not taken any series in an RLCS LAN. It would be good for us to take that first series in an RLCS LAN but we are not limited to that.
Also I would like to also give a massive thank you to Gaimin Gladiators for supporting us and sticking by our sides even with our poor performance in the RLCS fall split!
The Gaimin Gladiators reign supreme in the Asia-Pacific region, booking their ticket to the Winter Major in San Diego, California in early April 2023. As the Gladiators always do, we came, conquered and if we fell we always got back up. #AgainstAllOdds massive congratulations to LCT, Maxeew, OSM and coach Markydooda for their achievements.
For more information on Gaimin Gladiators Rocket League, and all our professional esports teams stay tuned here for recaps, blogs and content in all our esports ventures. Thank you for reading, we can’t wait to see all of you later this year in San Diego, California with plenty more Car Ball to come!